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Palace Malice wins Jim Dandy at Saratoga

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) - Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice pressed front-running Moreno from the outset, then took command in the stretch to win the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.

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Mike Smith rode the Todd Pletcher-trained Palace Malice, who ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.37 and finished a length in front of Will Take Charge. Moreno was third of nine.

``Everything went absolutely as we talked about it this morning when Mike and I went over the race,'' Pletcher said. ``We had a beautiful trip. He got into a good comfortable rhythm down the backside. He relaxed nicely and finished up pretty well in a very, very good time. We got the race over the track.''

The Jim Dandy sets up Palace Malice for what it expected to be a return engagement with Kentucky Derby winner Orb and Oxbow, the Preakness winner, in the Aug. 24 Travers Stakes.

``The horse keeps getting better and better,'' Pletcher said. ``Today was arguably his best performance yet. He finished up pretty well and in very good time. Hopefully, on to the Travers.''

The victory was worth $360,000 to the owner, Dogwood Stable, and $4.70, $3.40 and $2.70 to Palace Malice's betting supporters.

``It set up really well, but Todd and his connections had him really ready,'' Smith said. ``He was better than last time. Those are kind of big words to say after winning the Belmont, but he truly was, and with room to grow.''

Will Take Charge paid $11.80 and $6.10, and Moreno returned $4.30 to show.

Earlier on the Saratoga card, Laughing led four opponents at every call and won the $600.000 Diana Stakes for fillies and mares. The Alan Goldberg-trained 5-year-old held off a late bid from Dream Peace and prevailed by a head. Jose Lezcano rode the winner, who covered 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf course in 1:47.24. Laughing paid $15.80 and earned $360,000 for owner Richard Santulli.

Lighthouse Bay ($45.20) scored an upset victory in the $300,000 Prioress Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, beating Wildcat Lily to the wire by a half-length after 6 furlongs run in 1:09.29. Joe Rocco Jr. rode the George Weaver-trained, Richlyn Farm-owned winner who earned $180,000. Odds-on favorite Kauai Katie finished last of seven.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
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Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders’ Cup.
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